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01-05-2012 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2012

Psychological Research 3/2012

Body movement enhances the extraction of temporal structures in auditory sequences

Psychological Research > Uitgave 3/2012
Yi-Huang Su, Ernst Pöppel
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s00426-011-0346-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Auditory and motor systems interact in processing auditory rhythms. This study investigated the effect of intuitive body movement, such as head nodding or foot tapping, on listeners’ ability to entrain to the pulse of an auditory sequence. A pulse-finding task was employed using an isochronous sequence of tones in which tones were omitted at pseudorandom positions. Musicians and non-musicians identified their subjectively fitting pulse either using periodic body movement or through listening only. The identified pulse was measured subsequently by finger tapping. Movement appeared to assist pulse extraction especially for non-musicians. The chosen pulse tempi tended to be faster with movement. Additionally, movement led to higher synchronization stabilities of the produced pulse along the sequence, regardless of musical training. These findings demonstrated the facilitatory role of body movement in entraining to auditory rhythms and its interaction with musical training.

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Extra materiaal
Figure S1. The illustration of the procedure and the criteria tree for classifying every ‘unstable trial’ into one of the three types: Type 1 – constantly irregular and unstable ITIs; Type 2 – switching between different pulse levels; Type 3 – missing taps or an unusual pause within an otherwise stable tap series. * We assigned the criterion of ‘not more than 2 outlier ITIs’ in a trial to suggest potential missing taps while the pulse series itself could still be maintained. After a cluster of one or two such outliers was identified, we checked the centroid of this outlier cluster and the centroid of the bigger cluster containing the majority of the ITIs. If the ratio between the bigger centroid and the smaller centroid was bigger than 1.5, suggesting that the outlier ITIs were sufficiently different from most of the other ITIs, then the outliers were likely to be ‘accidental mistakes’ within the taps. If not, then the two clusters were not sufficiently different in ITIs, and the whole tap series would be considered irregular as in Type 1. ** If the ITIs in the bigger cluster, without the outlier ITIs, had a CV less than 10%, then it further confirmed that generally stable pulse was produced in this trial, except for the couple of missing taps or longer pauses, thus classified as Type 3. If the ITIs in the bigger cluster still produced a CV bigger than 10%, then the tap series on the whole was not stable, classified as Type 1. *** If both clusters contained more than two items, then we did not consider the possibility of outlier ITIs. Instead, we checked whether the ratio between the bigger centroid and the smaller centroid was between 1.75 - 2.25, which indicated that one cluster centered around twice the ITI as the other cluster. This would then suggest the possibility of taps switching between two pulse levels, which was further verified by the CV of ITIs within each cluster. If both CVs were no greater than 10%, then it showed that equally stable taps were produced at two different pulse levels, thus classified as Type 2. If not, then we rejected the possibility of switching between pulse levels, and classified it as Type 1. (EPS 5240 kb)
Figure S2. Histogram distribution of the produced pulse tempi as the ratio to the stimulus tempo, in each tempo condition. Each row represents data from one participant group. Only the tempi from stable pulse trials are plotted. Bin width = 5% of each stimulus tempo. (EPS 4956 kb)
Figure S3. Mean number of stimulus pulse cycles (transformed from RT) as a function of the stimulus tempo, for each participant group. Error bars represent standard errors of the mean. (EPS 3114 kb)
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